Take Advantage Of Today

Take Advantage Of Today

Understanding worth, without the pill bottle.
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Why did the girl keep hitting herself with the hammer? Because it felt so good when she stopped.

Now re-read that above statement. Does it make sense? Does it hold weight? Who would do something like that to themselves? Well the answer is clear. Every one of us. The entire population on this planet will at some point of their life bow down before the hammer which continues to dent and dent into their existence. For those of you who I confused, no, it is not a real hammer, but it might as well be one considering the damage it may cause.

You see we live each day with this attitude of “I just have to get through today and start fresh tomorrow”, so we are all set ourselves up for failure without realizing that pessimist attitude that “there is always tomorrow”. Well not to be cliché but there is not ALWAYS a tomorrow if we don’t start taking advantage of today.

We are in a civilization with more opportunities, but less initiative. More companies, and less employed. Taller building with shorter tempers. Wider freeways with narrower visions. We hate our jobs but spend more time at work than with the people we love. We have more knowledge yet more problems every single day. We have more guns, but we feel less safe. We party to much, spend too much, complain too much, then laugh too little. We get angry when the internet won't load and find ourselves saying “please God please” in the moments of desperation to watch a Netflix episode.

We have more food than we could ever consume but less nutrition. We have increased our possessions but lowered out value. Increased our boundaries yet lower our loyalty. These days hold families with two incomes but more divorces. We talk more but forget how to actually listen. We are quick to judge but slow to accept others. We talk about cleaning the air yet pollute our own bodies. We have more information at our fingertips, more computers, more databases, more knowledge, yet we feel more empty and powerless than ever before.

Do any of those sound familiar? Do you see people throw around the word “love” like it has become an adjective yet hate themselves? Are there days when you look at your life and think, “it just has to be better than this”? Where would we be without social media, probably a lot friendlier, a lot more open to a conversation with a neighbor, and a lot less addicted to a screen the size of our palms. There are high schools posting suicide hotlines, teen pregnancy hotlines, homeless support hotlines… people in this generation just feel alone. It’s funny, I grew up in a town in North Texas and knew everyone in my grade since I was 8 all the way through graduation, I knew all my neighbors, anyone at the grocery store, and it was safe to ride my bike from my house to a lake down the street.

Today, the population had quadrupled, there are houses popping up like weeds, I recognize no one at the grocery store, and if you’re riding your bike to the lake, you carry some mace in your back pocket just in case. My sisters are consumed to their phones and iPads and tablets that their Vitamin D levels come from the radiation from their screens.

In other words, it’s sad. “Music” from this generation is slandering women as possession and endorsing substance abuse just to fit in. We are a part of the most brilliant generation known to man and we simply don’t care. We want more without working for it and expect what we don’t deserve. I am not here to preach and annoy you. I am here to simply say what we are thinking. That this is NOT okay. There isn’t a switch which disperses depression to the masses, we just can no longer comprehend how to deal with sadness, so we take a “happy pill” to pretend that the inevitable is not there. It isn’t anyone’s fault, but there is no one stopping it.

If your doctor tells you to take something, you will probably take it without researching it, without seeing long-term effects.

A study proved that 87% of doctors in the United States of America will prescribe medication to patients just to psychologically make them think they will be better when in actuality there is nothing wrong with them. It is the placebo effect where if your momma kisses your boo boo suddenly you feel fine, well is the scam we want to take care of our health? Kids are diagnosed with ADD and ADHD when they are in kindergarten and started on all sorts of medication from the time that they are FIVE YEARS OLD.

Yes, a five-year-old will get distracted, yes, a five-year-old will want to run around and talk to their friends, there is no need to start pumping amphetamine salts into their bodies which lead to lower appetite, depression, anxiety, agitation, restlessness, and we are prescribing this to children? In some cases, during teen and adult years, when the brain is fully or nearly fully developed it is understandable to need medication, but when you are five-years-old there isn’t a NEED for medication, it’s called being five.

It is a ripple effect in a way. You surround yourself with happy and positive people, you will naturally become a happy and positive person, but you find that one bad seed, and it will kill your crop. We need to stop blaming and judging others and start taking ownership of our own behavior. Stop blaming depression for making you sad and start finding effective ways to resolve it without a prescription bottle. Stop blaming your significant other on relationship problems and start looking at their side of it.

We love to be arrogant and self-entitled, but when it comes down to it, the world isn’t going to change overnight, but one step every day will leave a long-lasting effect which is worth the risk.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Shelton

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Not Going To Lie, I’m A 'Little-stitious'

Michael Scott showed me that it's okay to think you have the power.

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If you're like me and you've watched "The Office" 7 times all the way through, then you'd remember the episode where Michael Scott hit Meredith with his car. This episode happens to be my favorite because while there are countless lines from all 9 seasons that are very relatable, this episode holds what I believe is the best office quote.

"I'm not superstitious, but I am a little-stitious".

In my eyes, there has never been such a perfect description of myself seen in "The Office", because I'm extremely a little-stitious. However, my little-stitions don't have anything to do with walking under ladders, opening umbrellas indoors or having a black cat cross your path. I wouldn't even say that mine are true superstitions, they're basically me being overly aware of my actions on a certain day and thinking that if I mess up the routine then the world will cave in.

For example, I have a necklace that my sister gave me that I truly believe I have to wear to every day or bad things will happen. And while I've had bad things happen to me while wearing the necklace, I've had worse things happen when I'm not.

Coincidence? Probably. Is that going to stop me from making sure that the necklace is around my neck every day? No.

However, the days where I become the most little-stitious are test days. You don't mess with test days. I have the same PJs that I wear the night before any test, and during finals week if they get washed, it's bad luck. Necklaces on test day also play an important role. On top of the necklace that my sister gave me, I also wear a necklace that my parents got me. A few days before one of my Spanish tests earlier in the semester, the necklace my parents got me unclasped and one of the charms fell off. When I realized that in class, my first thought was… "I'm going to fail my Spanish test on Friday if I don't find it". I retraced all my steps and finally found it lying outside the door to my room. I passed my Spanish test.

The morning of a Spanish test is different than any other test. I have to listen to Spanish music. However, the day of my Spanish final, I forgot. And while I didn't fail the test, it was my lowest test grade of the semester.

The issue with a lot of my little-stitions is that everyone thinks that it really just comes down to coincidence. And if I'm being quite honest, they probably are. But that doesn't change the fact that in my mind I believe that the only way I'm acting as my 100% best self, is when I follow my routines. They bring me good luck because even though I've done pretty bad on some tests when I've worn the necklaces, worn my hair in a bun, worn the PJs the night before, worn black socks, I didn't fail. Even tests that I truly believe I did fail, I still got by on. Days where I've sat in my room crying, I realize that I'm not wearing my necklace, so I put it on and everything gets a little brighter.

There's nothing wrong with having a little-stitions, because even if in the end they don't truly make a difference, they do in my mind. Without my little-stitions, I don't think that I would wake up every morning and be prepared to start the day.

Or maybe my necklace and clothes just have magical powers? I haven't ruled that out yet.

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